Did you Know?

The fundamental principles of human rights are embedded in the EU founding treaties, which were reinforced by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights adopted in 2000 [2012 amendment], and then strengthened when the Charter became legally binding with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty.


EDC News: EU and Human Rights

The principles of Human Rights are the basis of EU policies and legislations, and guide its growth.


“The EU is based on the values of human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.” (Source: EC Justice)


In September 1953, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which is an international treaty to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe, was put into force. The Convention, in turn, lead to the establishment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The ECtHR hears applications alleging that a contracting state has breached one or more of the human rights provisions concerning civil and political rights set out in the Convention and its protocols. An application can be lodged by an individual, a group of individuals or one or more of the other contracting states, and, besides judgments, the Court can also issue advisory opinions.

In addition to the establishment of the ECtHR and following the Strategic Framework on Human Rights and Democracy, the EU has made considerable progress in improving the impact of its actions on human rights and democracy. This was done through the development of guidelines on key human rights issues, enhancing the effectiveness of bilateral human rights and democracy work, and improving the mainstreaming of human rights across the EU's external action.

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